Monday, July 14, 2008

No More Sex, Please

Oh, great – looks like they may be gearing up for a sequel to the Sex and the City movie. Please. Stop. Now. Stories have a natural lifespan, and SATC is well past its prime. My problem with the Sex and the City movie goes beyond the wonky structuring. See, with a rom-com movie, you know that over the course of two hours you’ll have a meet-cute, a series of wacky circumstances keeping the happy couple apart, and then the joyful reconciliation/first kiss right before the credits roll. But TV shows are trickier. A lot of television shows have the obvious moment in the pilot where you see that two people are destined for each other – think Ross and Rachel on Friends, Luke and Lorelai on Gilmore Girls, Lucas and Peyton on One Tree Hill, and of course Big and Carrie on Sex and the City. And usually somewhere between seasons 1 and 3, they get together and all is well with the world. Except, oops, the show got renewed for another season, and extended happiness makes for boring television, so now the viewers are treated to a few years’ worth of angst, breakups, alternate couplings that some viewers get attached to even knowing they’re doomed (sticky real-life drama aside, I still miss Brooke and Lucas on OTH) before the series finale and final uniting of the power couple. Meanwhile, secondary couples, ones not preordained by the pilot, are often allowed to get together and, with some bumps of course, stay together in a functioning relationship. Think Monica and Chandler on Friends, Sookie and Jackson on Gilmore Girls, Nathan and Hayley on One Tree Hill, and Miranda and Steve/Charlotte and Harry on Sex and the City. At any rate, after six seasons, Sex and the City disassembled and reassembled its characters a dozen times over, finally getting them all to good places by the series’ end. And the movie and its potential sequel are pointless because you know the characters will mostly end up right where we left them at the end of the television series – we’re just paying $10 to see more time-wasting machinations that tread storywater until the credits are ready to roll.

Not that I can blame them for wanting to go for a second movie. Right now, Sex and the City is the fourth highest grossing movie of 2008 and will remain so until Batterdämmerung strikes on Friday. Yeah, it turns out women watch movies, and occasionally want to see other women on the screen. But wise up, Hollywood. Women aren’t hungry for more Sex and the City – they’re hungry for more movies about women, period.

So instead of throwing up another bit of storytreading fluff – Will Carrie and Big stay together?! (Yes.) Will Carrie navalgaze via Macbook and staple roadkill to her head?!? (Duh.) – how about developing some new go-go-girl-power movies instead? Superhero movies are superhot, but Wonder Woman is not. Why the hell not?

And hey, how about throwing some promotion towards The Women, due out on September 12? I’ve seen the trailer for Eagle Eye, which comes out three weeks after The Women, before three different movies recently. The Women has been in development since 1994, with Meg Ryan as one of the few actresses attached the entire time. Think about that. 1994. A year sufficiently far enough in the past that a current movie can be set during it and be called a period piece. After spending 14 years in development hell, the least the movie deserves is a little bit of promotion from the studio. If a trailer for it isn’t attached to the chick-friendly Mamma Mia! next week, I’ll be so angry. Which is, of course, par for the course, because women are nothing if not angry.

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